VANCOUVER, CANADA - Damon Harper of Mission, a city in the Vancouver area, had nearly recovered from his graze with bankruptcy last week, when the dread disease that causes him to spend so much money struck again.
Last Wednesday, Damon became infected with EWS (Empty or Ectophilic Wallet Syndrome), a disease peculiar to the Ectophiles and related groups, an ethnic minority to which he belongs.
That day, Damon went on a rampage in nearby Abbotsford; a spending spree of gargantuan proportions which left a local used compact disc seller severely underectostocked. Damon purchased nine CDs in all that day, six from the used CD store.
Yesterday, Damon had nearly recovered. He was taking a sabbatical in Vancouver when the deadly disease struck again, this time in Vancouver's downtown area.
Damon purchased another astounding nine CDs, bringing his total to eighteen CDs within the span of eight days. He is now recovering back home in Mission, taking the standard cure for EWS: time, and lots of listening to music.
EWS is one of the small but rapidly growing family of diseases known as ITDs, or Internet Transmitted Diseases. ITDs are the only known diseases whose vector, or means of infection, is electronic, and include such disastrous complexes as IRCD (Internet Relay Chat Dependency) and the more recent and intense ValenAddiction.
EWS is particularily deadly to Ectophiles and other related minorities. According to Dr. Godfrid Bush, an expert in Internet- and music-related disorders, "The Ectophilic immune system is incapable of countering EWS.
"As normal when a disease is encountered in the body, mass amounts of antibodies are produced by the cells, and eventually conquer the disease.
"Normally these antibodies prevent further infection by the disease, as they remain in the blood in great numbers. However, Ectophilic antibodies associated with diseases such as EWS are essentially fruitless.
"In short, these antibodies simply lack the willpower to fend off further attacks of EWS."
There is disturbing evidence that EWS may have found a new, physical vector. Though normally electronically transmitted, it is thought that the disease may be adapting to the physical world, as Damon had spent Tuesday meeting some friends of Ectophilic and related origins, and, as he told reporters later, "having quite a wonderful time."
This evidence is backed by the empirical observation that while the vast majority of the albums Damon bought last Wednesday were older releases, all but one of the albums bought this week were 1995 releases.
"This is a disturbing development," opines Dr. Bush, "and may indicate an adapted, and perhaps even more virulent, strain of the disease." Whatever the possible implications, Damon and his gasping wallet are now undergoing the time treatment. "I hope I don't succumb again," says Damon, weak and pallid on the bed in his basement room. "I can't afford a recurrence. And yet, somehow..."
We asked Damon to supply us with a list of the albums bought, and his impressions upon hearing a few tracks of each (all he has time for). He kindly agreed, and the list he prepared for us follows.
* Bjo:rk's Post. I'd heard "Isobel" on the radio, and some of the rest of the album at Neil[ K. Guy]'s, and I fell in love. I have yet to obtain her debut album, however, though that is on my list in case EWS should infect me again.
* Deep Forest's Boheme. This seems quite an amazing album, definitely worth listening to, especially if you liked their first, although it does differ from this astoundingly. Lovely and interesting vocals.
* Ani DiFranco's Not a Pretty Girl. I'm not entirely sure what I think yet, but so far my impression has been pretty positive. Really haven't listened to this one enough yet.
* Natalie Merchant's Tigerlily. Despite mediocre reviews, on first listen this album sounds quite engaging and quite classically Natalie. Although the drum track on the first song has got to be one of the most cliched in music today...
* Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. I must rave about this one. I'd heard mixed reviews of the album, but in the state I was in at the time (ahem), it was not hard to conjure up a whim and purchase this album. It is absolutely excellent! Alanis Morissette's vocals and style seem quite insightful, and perhaps not just a little psychotic. An immediate hit.
* Sam Philips' Martinis and Bikinis. I already had this on tape, thanks to Alex [another Ectophile known to Damon], and after a few listens determined that I must have it on CD. I had not been able to find it for a reasonable price until now. A definite must-have.
* Jill Sobule's new album. Another one I have not had much opportunity to properly assimilate and evaluate, but if it's anything like Things Here Are Different, which I purchased last week, it has my vote of confidence. "I Kissed a Girl" is quite a catching song. Jill Sobule certainly wins the Really Nifty Booklet (TM) award among the albums I bought this Wednesday.
* Suddenly, Tammy!'s (We Get There When We Do.). This sounds quite good so far, particularily with the nifty piano music. This one was specifically recommended to me on Tuesday by a good friend. Definitely on the pop side of ecto fodder.
* Dar Williams' The Honesty Room. A gem! Dar's gentle style and lovely voice combine to create a wonderful, light, fun album with quite a powerful undercurrent. "When I Was A Boy" is definitely an immediate favourite! :)
-- damon the EWS sufferer.